Apple is not a company known to shy away from new technological opportunities. Recent patent activity regarding 3D technology (a glasses free display) has fostered speculation that Apple may have a glasses free 3D iPad in the works. But you may not need to wait for the official iPad 3D. Deft programming and clever use of the iPad camera can deliver a very convincing 3D illusion.
Two developers, Jeremie Francone and Laurence Nigay have engineered software called "Head-Coupled Perspective or "HCP". The front mounted camera tracks the motion of one's head as an image is viewed detecting the motion of either your head, the tablet or both. The tracking information is analyzed and used to adapt the onscreen display accordingly. This gives an astounding sense of depth. It even works on an iPhone 4!
There is no word as to whether this would work with video from a 3D camcorder. Currently glassless 3D most often uses technology known as a 'parallax viewscreen' which actually separates two different images sending a different perspective to each eye.
What's interesting about the above software is that is uses just ONE image to create the 3D illusion. Notably this is rather similiar to the glasses free technology that Apple recently patented. What this might mean for these developers is hard to say. Either their endeavour will be acquired by Apple for a tidy sum - or they will receive a nasty notice from Apple's patent attorneys. I hope for their sake that it is the former.
The software is not yet available for download, but you can check it out in the videos below:
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Michael Sean Kaminsky is an author, video blogger and documentary filmmaker. His most recent book is Naked Lens: Video Blogging & Video Journaling to Reclaim the YOU in YouTube.